Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Paint That Makes You Go Hmmm

Fresh Paint! Hmmm

There's fresh paint (work in progress) on a route I often ride. I saw the faint marker lines they put down last week, and they made me wonder what the final product will look like. This is not the finished product quite yet, I believe, so some of the "hmmm" may disperse once the rest of it is done. I believe these are buffered or protected bike lanes, but in one stretch (not shown here) it only seemed logical to ride in the space marked with the three lines. So I'll just wait and see how it turns out. But today, this new paint make me go "hmmm".

If the three lines mean "bikes don't ride here, drivers don't drive here," which is what I believe, then it will all become clearer once they paint in the bicycle symbols. But if that's the case, I think they may have to redo a section, where it looked like the three lines were in the wrong space.* Also, there's a section where cars generally parked all the time, which used to have a bike lane running outside the car parking area, which now has a bike lane where the cars park, with a buffer space outside it. If the cars continue parking in the same space, the bike lane won't be usable. Conversely, I'm not sure where the cars are going to park now. Hmmm.

A little more paint will probably make everything clearer. So this is in no way meant as a criticism. It just made me go, hmmm. Although I'm sure some riders would be more comfortable riding where crossing and entering cars can see them better. Particularly at night, or in a low-sun situation. Cyclists that question the efficacy or need for very bright lights need only ride down this street with me in a dark but busy hour to see what catches the attention of crossing or entering drivers, and what doesn't. As a final note, I've had plenty of conflicts on this street with crossing or entering drivers who seemed not to see me, but none, not one, with an overtaking driver getting too close. In my opinion, it's 44th street, just up ahead in the two photos below, where the lanes are narrow and the traffic is moving at 50 mph, that some buffered bike lanes might make more sense. Just a thought.

On another hand, and setting aside my own over-confident road habits, perhaps these are meant to encourage school kids to ride to the elementary school that's farther down this street. I'll be able to report back over the next year if that occurs or not. I tend to see a lot more kids riding from the east side of the school, rather than on this stretch, which is to the west, so perhaps these will help in that area.

Anyway, freshly paved, fresh paint, lovely to ride on.

This one is very clear

That sign is going to change

Don't ride here. I think.

*or perhaps it was just after work and I was brain dead


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